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WMCA Single Assurance Framework - Feb 2024

Governance and Decision Making

The Mayor

The WMCA Mayor has a manifesto of commitments on which they were directly elected by the electorate across the West Midlands constituent areas. The Mayor executes certain powers and functions that are devolved to the WMCA by Central Government, to deliver their manifesto of commitments to constituents.

The Mayor is the Chair of the WMCA Board. The Mayor provides leadership in terms of proposing a Mayoral budget and as part of the Board in agreeing the revenue and capital budgets for WMCA and ensuring the appropriate use of these budgets. All Mayoral functions are listed in the WMCA Constitution.

The WMCA Board

The WMCA Board is the legal and accountable body for funding devolved to the WMCA. It is responsible for a range of functions including transport, housing, skills, economic development, and regeneration functions including post 18 education and training across the West Midlands region.

The WMCA Board exercises all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and the Constitution and agrees policies and delegated responsibilities to conduct its business. (WMCA Constitution)

The Constitution details WMCA meetings and Boards, which have either decision-making powers or are advisory. Those with decision-making powers have their Terms of Reference which can be found within the Constitution.

The current Governance Review has produced a diagram showing the different Boards and this can be provided.

Recruitment of new members

Members of the WMCA Board are appointed by the Constituent and Non-Constituent Authorities designated by the Orders establishing the WMCA. Members must be elected Members of their appointing Authority and must be replaced if they are no longer elected Members.

Members of other Committees of WMCA are nominated by their Authority and appointed to Committees by the WMCA Board.


New Board members will undergo Induction training covering the senior management structure and their roles, the governance structures including the SAF, how the combined authority is funded, risk, and the annual aims and objectives.

Code of conduct

The Code of Conduct for members is set out within the WMCA Constitution (WMCA Constitution), and reminds members that they act on behalf of the whole region’s interest and not just their particular area of the region. The Nolan Principles of Public Life (Nolan) provides a framework for the members and officers of WMCA.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Board is comprised of elected representatives appointed to the Board by the Constituent and Non- Constituent Authorities and so the composition of the Board is outside of the control of the Combined Authority. However, as a Combined Authority, we’d like to have a Board that reflects the population of the WM region, and so support constituent and non-constituent authority efforts to have elected representatives reflective of their constituent population.

As of June 2023, the gender breakdown of the WMCA Board as a whole (Mayor, constituent authority representatives, non-constituent authority representatives) is 19 men (79%) and 5 women (21%). There is also currently one vacancy on the board.


WMCA does not pay any allowances to the Board Members other than the Mayor and Deputy Mayor whose allowance is agreed by the Board following the recommendation of an Independent Remuneration Panel. Chairs of the Audit and Scrutiny Committees are remunerated as agreed by the WMCA Board following the recommendations made by the Independent Remuneration Panel.

The WMCA Board on 09 June 2023 agreed payments to be made to all Members of Audit and Scrutiny Committees subject to Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill being passed into legislation at which point they will back dated to the start of the Municipal year.


WMCA governance includes local authority style checks and balances to ensure that standards in public life are maintained, value for money delivered, the voice of business included in decision making and that there is a strong culture of local scrutiny embedded across the organisation. These checks and balances include an Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee, and two Overview and Scrutiny Committees as laid out in sections 3.4 and 3.5 of this document and the WMCA Constitution. The Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee seeks to ensure that value for money is achieved by reviewing and scrutinising the WMCA’s financial affairs (including devolved funds), and the report and all feedback from the external auditors in relation to the annual accounts. Work is being carried out with scrutiny committee members to further strengthen and develop the WMCA’s scrutiny function to meet the standards set out within the scrutiny protocol’s 18 key principles. Training is carried out for elected members on these three committees at the start of the municipal year and includes instruction on how members are expected to uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee

WMCA has an established an Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee (ARAC) in accordance with the requirements of the Combined Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny, Access to Information and Audit) Regulations 2017. The Authority has delegated to the Committee the following powers to deal with matters concerning internal audit and the Committee has the following role and functions:

  • reviewing and scrutinising the Authority’s and the Mayor’s financial affairs.
  • reviewing and assessing the Authority’s and the Mayor’s risk management, internal control and corporate governance arrangements.
  • reviewing and assessing the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which resources have been used in discharging the Authority’s and the Mayor’s functions.
  • making reports and recommendations to the Authority and the Mayor in relation to reviews conducted under Standing Orders 11.1(a), 11.1 (b) and 11.1 (c).
  • to promote and maintain high standards of conduct and ethical governance by the Mayor, Members, and co-opted Members of the Authority.
  • to appoint Sub-Committees with delegated power to consider investigation reports; to conduct hearings (including the imposition of sanctions); at the request of the complainant, to review decisions of the Monitoring Officer to take no action on a complaint; and at the request of the subject member, to review findings of failure to comply with the Code of Conduct and action taken in respect thereof.
  • to grant dispensations to the Mayor, Members and co-opted Members from requirements relating to interests set out in the Code of Conduct for Members and co-opted Members.
  • to exercise any functions which the Authority and Mayor may consider appropriate from time to time.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

WMCA has established an Overview and Scrutiny Committee in accordance with the Regulations with the powers to:

  • review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the Mayor and/or the Authority
  • make reports or recommendations to the Mayor and/or the Authority on matters that affect the Authority area or the inhabitants of the area
  • make reports or recommendations to the Mayor and/or the Authority with respect to the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the Mayor and/or the Authority
  • where a decision has been made by the Mayor, the Authority, or an Officer and was not treated as being a key decision and a relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee is of the opinion that the decision should have been treated as a key decision, that Overview and Scrutiny Committee may require the decision maker to submit a report to the Authority within such reasonable period as the committee may specify.


WMCA has also established a Transport Delivery Overview and Scrutiny Committee in accordance with the Regulations for monitoring and oversight of the performance of the transport capital programme delivery for projects being delivered under CRSTS and other funding allocations.

The members of the Committee are nominated by the Constituent and Non-Constituent Authorities forming the Combined Authority.

Investment Board

WMCA has established an Investment Board as a Sub-Committee of the WMCA Board chaired by the Portfolio Lead for Finance and Investment, which makes investment and financial decisions to proposals between £5million and £20million. The financial delegation between £1million and £5million is made at the Designated Sign-off Meetings. The Investment Board also provide guidance to the WMCA Board for Investment and financial decisions above £20million.

Statutory Officers

Head of Paid Service

It is the role of the Head of Paid Service, also known as the Chief Executive, to ensure that all the authority’s functions are properly co-ordinated as well as organising staff and appointing appropriate management.

The duties and responsibilities of the post include:

  • the statutory responsibilities of the Head of Paid Service to manage the budgets and funding allocations available to the Combined Authority, in partnership with the s151 officer
  • overall responsibility to ensure that all officers involved in the use of public funds, at all times put in measures to ensure that VFM is maximised
  • leading the Executive Directors to deliver the strategic direction for the Combined Authority as outlined by West Midlands Combined Authority Board
  • co-ordinate strategy, development and delivery ensuring a joined-up partnership approach to deliver the aspirations of the West Midlands Combined Authority
  • ensure the champion the delivery of the strategic priorities of the Combined Authority and put in place the resources necessary to achieve this. efficient and effective implementation of WMCA’s programmes and policies across all services and the effective deployment of the authority’s resources to those ends
  • advise the Combined Authority, its Board meetings on all matters of general policy and all other matters upon which his or her advice is necessary, with the right of attendance at all Board meetings and other meetings as appropriate
  • advising the elected Mayor on the delivery of strategic priorities
  • represent the Combined Authority at local, regional and national level in partnership with the Mayor
  • act on advice given by the Monitoring Officer on any situations that could put the Combined Authority in jeopardy of unlawfulness or maladministration, or protect the Combined Authority against any reputational risks.

Section 151 Officer

The WMCA Executive Director of Finance and Business Hub fulfils the role of the Section 151 Officer, in accordance with Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, extended in Section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 – England and Wales.

The responsibilities of the Executive Director of Finance and Business Hub reflect those documented are documented in the CIPFA published document The Role of the Chief Financial Officer in Local Government | CIPFA It details five Principles:

  • the Chief Financial Officer in a local authority is a key member of the leadership team, helping it to develop and implement strategy and to resource and deliver the authority’s Policy Aims sustainably and in the public interest
  • the CFO in a local authority must be actively involved in, and able to bring influence to bear on, all material business decisions to ensure immediate and longer-term implications, opportunities and risks are fully considered, and alignment with the authority’s overall financial strategy
  • the CFO in a local authority must lead the promotion and delivery by the whole authority of good financial management so that public money is safeguarded at all times and used appropriately, economically, efficiently, and effectively
  • the CFO in a local authority must lead and direct a finance function that is resourced to be fit for purpose
  • the CFO in a local authority must be professionally qualified and suitably experienced.


In WMCA the Executive Director of the Finance and Business Hub is a member of the Executive Board and has oversight of and an ability to influence all major decisions of the Authority. The Executive Director of Finance and Business Hub has ensured that the Authority has robust systems of internal controls and appropriate separation of duties to ensure the legality and probity of financial transactions.

These processes are set out in the Financial Regulations and Contract Standing Orders and other policies such as the Money Laundering Policy and the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy.

All reports to Boards and Committees include the financial, legal and risk implications of proposals. The Executive Director of Finance and Business Hub and the Finance Team review all reports before they are presented to the WMCA Board or other decision-making Committees.

Monitoring Officer

The Director of Law and Governance has been appointed as the WMCA Monitoring Officer and discharges the functions in relation to WMCA as set out in section five of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Their responsibilities regarding the Assurance Framework are:

  • Providing advice on, and maintaining an up-to-date version of the Constitution and ensuring that it is widely available for consultation by members, employees, and the public
  • After consulting with the Head of Paid Service and Chief Finance Officer, report to the Authority if they consider that any proposal, decision, or omission would give rise to or has given rise to unlawfulness or maladministration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping the proposed decisions being implemented until the report has been formally considered by the WMCA Board
  • Ensuring that decisions, together with the reasons for those decisions and relevant officer reports and background papers are made publicly available as soon as possible
  • Advising whether decisions are within budget and policy framework and whether any decisions or proposed decision constitutes a key decision
  • Providing advice on the scope of powers and authority to take decisions, maladministration, financial impropriety, probity and budget and policy framework issues to the Mayor, members and officers, and generally support and advise members and officers in their roles.


Contributing to the promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct, The Authority has delegated to the Monitoring Officer powers to deal with matters of conduct and ethical standards in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011:

  • Discharging the functions under any enactment (whenever passed) of a Monitoring Officer, proper officer, or responsible officer, concerning the Authority’s legal affairs and arrangements, including compliance with the law.

The Monitoring Officer and the Legal Team should review all reports to ensure that legal implications are correctly identified before they are presented to the WMCA Board or other decision-making bodies.


Related Processes and Procedures

Inclusive Growth

The Inclusive Growth Framework is in place to ensure that WMCA delivers inclusive growth, “a more deliberate and socially purposeful model of economic growth – measured not only by how fast or aggressive it is; but also by how well it is created and shared across the whole population and place, and by the social and environmental outcomes it realises for our people.”

This requires all WMCA activities to consider the eight fundamentals of inclusive growth, ensuring all projects, programmes and investments reflect a commitment to social, economic and environmental missions.

Equality, Diversity and the Socio-Economic Duty

A procedure is in place to ensure that WMCA and its constituent authorities will take into consideration section 149 of the Equality Act, ensuring that any project considers: Policies

  • in particular, Part/Section 1 where “An authority to which this section applies must, when making decisions of a strategic nature about how to exercise its functions, have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage”
  • the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and other conduct prohibited by the Act
  • the need to advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not
  • the need to foster good relationships between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.


WMCA has adopted a Whistleblowing Policy to enable and encourage employees to raise concerns about wrongdoing by the Authority, the Mayor Officers or contractors without fear of reprisal or detriment.

Complaints process

A Complaints Procedure is in place to ensure that any complaints relating to the arrangements, processes or decision making associated with a project is dealt with fairly and effectively.

Gifts and Hospitality

A Gifts and Hospitality policy is in place to ensure that no WMCA Member or WMCA officer receives remuneration or expenses in relation to its activities, other than their salary and in accordance with policy which has a procedure in respect of declaring gifts and hospitality.

Registration and declaration of interests

WMCA Board and Committee Members are required to make a declaration of any interest they have in an item of business at Meetings of the Board. Officers are required to declare any interests they have in contracts. The Declarations of Interest are listed under each member of each committee which can be found here Committee Structure. In addition, elected Local Authority members will have completed their Local Authority’s Register of Interest. Where Members have a prejudicial interest in an item of business the WMCA Members Code

Freedom of information

A Freedom of Information (FOI) procedure is in place to manage requests related to the activities of the WMCA. Appropriate data protection arrangements are in place within this process.

Treatment of risk

Our Strategic Risk Management Framework (SRMF) provides the process and structures for undertaking risk management at the WMCA in accordance with HM Treasury Orange Book. The SRMF supports the consistent identification, assessment, monitoring and escalation of risks across Directorates, so as to provide visibility at strategic, operational, programme and project levels.

The SAF has an important role to play in ensuring that risk is managed appropriately by supporting the application of the SRMF across all SAF Projects and Programmes.


The WMCA is subject to the same Transparency Code that applies to Local Authorities. Transparency. The WMCA website contains a comprehensive set of information and there are links to key documents, referenced within this document.

A Mayoral update is distributed to stakeholders throughout the West Midlands informing them of current and planned WMCA activity and how they can get involved. WMCA has a continuous communications strategy, including using social media to provide the public and stakeholders with updates on activity. Stakeholders and the public can contact the WMCA via the website Contact Us and by responding to social media posts. A Calendar of events is available on the WMCA website detailing the dates of all key meetings. Where there is a requirement as a condition of funding, WMCA will ensure that Government (and other funders) branding is used in any publicity material.

Inviting Applications for Funding

WMCA publishes details of its tender opportunities on the Procurement section of its website, In addition, the Housing, Property and Regeneration Directorate has devolved housing and land funds to develop housing and regeneration projects in the West Midlands through equity, loan and grant. Developers and Investors who are interested can contact WMCA at uk More details can be found on Investing with us, Commercial Development Funding - WMCA CIF - FDC. West Midlands Innovation Programme – Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands also offer opportunities, for Innovation Funding.

Publishing meeting minutes

The schedule of meetings for the calendar year is published on the WMCA website. The notice of meetings, the agenda and the accompanying papers for formal Board and Committee Meetings are published five clear working days in the advance of the meeting. WMCA includes its Forward Plan in the Agenda of the Board and Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meetings.

Where papers contain commercially sensitive information or are subject to one of the exemptions under the Local Government act 1972 Schedule 12A or the Freedom of Information Act 2000, they are categorised as a private item and are not published. The Monitoring Officer will give advice regarding whether the item should be classified as private, but Members have to make a decision to go into private session unless a confidential item has been declared confidential by the Government in which case it must be taken in private.

Draft minutes of meetings are published as soon as practicable after the meetings on the WMCA website. All WMCA Board minutes are signed at the next suitable meeting and published.

Publishing decisions

WMCA publish a Forward Plan of key decisions that will be taken by the WMCA at least 28 days before the decision is made to enable members of the public the opportunity to view and comment upon them. Details of all key decisions made by the WMCA are recorded within a log accessible at: Decisions. The WMCA maintains a live Activity Register to support the Executive Board, this is in addition to a Contracts register which provides details of all contacts and agreements signed by the WMCA.